“Skis are like restaurant waiters – the ( ski ) tips are very important.”
Ski tips – another extract from my now-published book “Ski In Control: How to ski ANY piste, anywhere in full control”. Find it here on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ski-Control-piste-anywhere-control-ebook/dp/B078JPQCHY/
STOP doing “TURNS” ! But don’t stop changing direction.
The vast majority of skiers first learned such skiing as they now have, by going to ski schools.
Ski schools – or certainly the vast majority of them – have strange beliefs. They believe you can learn by watching, and they believe that when skiing you “do turns”. Most also seem to believe that to “do” a “turn”, you need to “Turn your skis”. This, usually shouted in quite a loud voice.
At very low speeds, on extremely gentle pistes, this “kind of” works, in so far as some kind of directional change might occur. In some ways this is a pity because the basic idea is not a good one. Read on ….Yet it seems to the learning skier, to be an idea supported by what happened when he/she “turned their skis”. They might have changed direction.
This embeds an idea that in no way assists in developing any level of mastery over the sport, and leads to considerable confusion for folks when they discover that on the next, and slightly steeper piste they find themselves on, the result may be anything but reassuringly stable-feeling. It is the beginning of the construction of what gets known as “the plateau” of ski learning which so many find it so difficult to escape from.
WHAT DO YOU DO BETWEEN ALL THOSE “TURNS”?
We can turn our skis – pivot them if you will – and for some purposes it’s effective, but I want to change your view of this idea of “doing turns”. A “turn” isn’t something you do, though it might be a result of something you do. One reason for this is that the idea suggests that we ‘do a turn’ then sometime later we ‘do another turn”, which in turn suggests that in between we do something else.
The only ‘something else’ that we could do, if it’s not to be a “turn”, would be a straight line. Usually this will be on a downward sloping diagonal. To the extent that it is downward sloping, and straight, what you will get is rapid acceleration. So the more diagonal the better!
The longer you leave the next “turn”, the faster you’ll be going, the less control you will have over your skis, and the more difficult making that next “turn” will be, especially if your method of doing it is to “turn your skis”. On a narrow track this can quickly get pretty frantic. All in all it would be better if we did not do straight lines. Or if we do, then to know how changes in direction on skis actually come about.
OUR SKIS CARRY US: Use you ski tips.
What skis do, if you treat them right, is to execute ARCS in the snow. When they do, they carry us around those arcs. It’s almost like our giving them simple orders and they then carry them out.
The best question around this “turning” topic is – what is it that makes a ski change direction? Is it “turning” it, that does it?
Turning it will have some effect of course, and it might result in a change of direction. In some cases it easily might not.
I could complicate this post, at this point, but I won’t. Let’s keep it simple.
Skis have upturned tips at the front. This helps them avoid digging in and heading downwards into the ground. BUT HOW? If the ski is flat on the snow, with the tip pointing directly upward, then upward is precisely the direction in which Mother Earth will push them, as we glide along. If the tips were down-turned the snow would push them downwards, further into the snow.
What will happen if the ski tips are neither completely upward, nor completely downward? That is to say if you tilted them? Here’s a picture of tilted ski tips. It’s from the book, it’s a bit fuzzy, but it’s illustrative.
Which way ?
If, as you glide along, you were to get one of your ski tips to do this, where would it go? Where would this one go? And when it did, would it not carry you with it? It’s hasn’t got much choice really since you’re clipped onto it.
So long as that little bit of the ski tips that I’ve circled, manages to incise the surface just enough to get a grip, than “Snowy the Snowflake” and her gang of friends will push this ski in some direction. Which one ?
The key thing is, while you may do so, you don’t have to “turn your ski”. Turning it (pivoting it) might do a bit of something, but not as effectively as tilting it.
If you’re unsure about where it would go, you need to do two things – firstly get my book “Ski-In-Control” from Amazon Kindle here; (I need the fabulous riches this is making me. Not. And you can easily download the FREE Kindle reader so you can read it on your computer if needed): and secondly email me at – email@example.com – and we’ll take you through it in a bit more detail. Especially if you going skiing soon. I’ll even do that if you don’t buy my book. Generosity is my middle name!
All the best,